Shut Out

The City of Spokane drops a 'Do Not Occupy' order on the Ridpath Hotel, Plus, a change on the radio dial has people up in arms.

Evicted From the Ridpath

For months, the Ridpath Hotel’s various owners have been attempting to stop the city from officially leveling a “Do Not Occupy” order against the building. But without a proper fire suppression system in the Ridpath, building officials were concerned about safety and decided this week to boot the last tenant, Diamond Parking.

Stephen Antonietti, who’s hoping to redevelop the Ridpath, says he tried to corral all the owners of the vacant hotel complex to pay for the necessary repairs but couldn’t get everyone to agree.

He adds, though, that the closure of the property is actually helping him, as he tries to work with the banks and the property’s remaining owners to purchase the building.

“When the city causes trouble like that,” he says, “it makes the bank works faster.” (Daniel Walters)

KPTQ Changes Format

Enraged listeners have lashed out against KPTQ after the Spokane radio station changed its format from progressive talk radio to country last month.

“Pound sand, country music! You will no longer darken my radio dial,” writes Sandra Fitzergald on the radio station’s Facebook page. “I can’t exactly stream progressive talk radio in my car, but you can sure bet I am not going to replace it with more country pablum.”

But despite all the vitriol, KPTQ just wasn't getting that enough listeners, says Dan Manella, market manager for Clear Channel, which owns the station.

KPTQ was heard by about 8,300 listeners a week, making it the 24th-most-listened-to station among the 25 in Spokane, according to a survey by media research firm Arbitron.

"We are the people who have dedicated a great deal of time and resources to the progressive talk format," Manella says. "But at the end of the day, there are just not enough listeners to sustain what we thought is a successful radio station." (Chris Stein)

March On City Hall

When the Spokane City Council on April 16 debates whether to support a gay marriage resolution, they may have a roomful of marchers looking on.

The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane (PJALS) is organizing a march, to leave at 5 pm from the Westminster Congregation United Church of Christ and proceed down to council chambers. “That’s the idea, to flood the chambers with people at least signing in to sup port” the resolution, says Shar Lichty, a PJALS organizer.

Councilman Jon Snyder, the resolution’s sponsor, says it’s needed to remind people that “Spokane is a kind of a beacon for gay and lesbian folks on the east side of the state.” (Joe O'Sullivan)

A Loss in GU’s Family

Gonzaga student Chris Gormley, 18, died after a school kayaking accident on Rock Lake in Whitman County on Sunday.

The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office responded to the emergency call around noon. Three kayakers in a group of seven capsized due to high winds and waves on the lake. One of the three students was able to reach the shore, but local deputies had to rescue Gormley and one other student from the water. Both showed signs of hypothermia and were transported to Spokane hospitals, where Gormley was pronounced dead.

“My heart goes out to all who knew and loved this young man,” Mayor David Condon said in a release. “On behalf of the employees of the City of Spokane, I would like to extend my sympathies to the entire Gonzaga University family.”

The event was organized by the Gonzaga Outdoors program, through the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department.

“It is with a most heavy heart that I convey to you the sudden and unexpected loss of a member of our family,” said Gonzaga President Thayne M. McCulloh in a statement. “I know all of us at Gonzaga join together to extend our deepest sympathies to Chris’ parents — Chris and Susan Gormley — and to his entire family.” (Lauren Miller)

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